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The Power of Body Image on Personal Branding
In today’s digital age, personal branding has become a crucial aspect of professional success. No matter what career you’re in, your personal brand can make a significant impact on your future. Having a strong personal brand helps you establish credibility in your industry by sharing your expertise, insights, and experiences. It also increases your visibility by helping you stand out in a crowded market. Personal brands also build trust with your audience, open up new opportunities, help you differentiate yourself, and provide a strong sense of direction.
There are so many reasons why all women in business should have a personal brand, especially when so often our business and personal brand collaborate and link together. So why do we not see more women showing up and embracing their personal brand? I believe that it relates back to poor body image.
When I first started out as a business owner, I dreaded taking professional pictures. I would look at the pictures and could only see what I thought were physical flaws. ‘Can’t post this picture because my double chin is out.’ ‘Wow, I wish the photographer would have told me to suck it in.’ ‘Is this really what I look like?’ ‘I need to start taking calls while walking.’
The thoughts would spiral and my emotions would take over. The negative thoughts would come in and I would think, ‘I’m not thin enough.’ Looking back, I laugh at this thought – that my body reflects how good a marketer I am. But this is what having a poor body image will do; creep into your thoughts and stop you from showing up as your true self. Unfortunately, many people struggle with negative body image, which can have a profound impact on their personal branding.
When you feel good about your body, you’re more likely to project confidence in your professional life. This helps you build stronger relationships, make better decisions, and pursue your goals with more determination. But, whether we like it or not, people often judge us based on our appearance which can impact how others do business with us. One way I avoid this is to show up how I want people to perceive me.
This relates back to how I show up authentically. My personal brand represents me. I want to be my most authentic self so that when clients get on calls with me it is the same person they’ve come to know online.
So, what can we do to embrace our body image and create a kick-ass personal brand?
4 Ways to Embrace Our Body Image
1. Embrace Our Uniqueness
You are unique. There is no one else in the world like you. Even if you’re a twin, you two have different personalities, interests, likes and dislikes, and so on. Your body is part of what makes you unique and that’s something to celebrate! Instead of focusing on our flaws, let’s focus on what makes us stand out like our sense of humor or how creative we are. Highlighting your unique qualities can help you create an even more authentic personal brand.
2. Practice Self-Compassion and Challenge Negative Thoughts
This one is easier said than done, but start to practice self-compassion towards your body. Instead of criticizing yourself, treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would a friend. And when negative thoughts arise, challenge them with rational and positive thinking. Turn ‘I hate my legs’ to ‘My legs help me get from one point to another. Thank you, legs.’ Focus on your strengths and qualities and remind yourself that you are worthy of love and respect, even from yourself.
3. Focus on What Your Body Can Do
We can all get into the cycle of focusing on our body’s appearance, especially when it relates to personal branding, but what if you changed your focus to what your body can do? Celebrate your body’s abilities and accomplishments whether it’s running a marathon, lifting your baby, or simply getting out of bed. Your body is so much more than an image.
4. Avoid Negative Influences
It’s time we stop looking at social media and mainstream media for beauty standards. I want to see the real you. I want to see the business owner. who was up until 3 am packing and shipping products only to have an 8 am meeting the next day, show up authentically. I want to see that personal brand. I want to surround myself with people who celebrate and support one another rather than bring each other down.
Body image can have a profound impact on personal branding. By embracing who you are, you can leverage your body image for success in your personal branding. Remember, building a strong personal brand starts with accepting and loving yourself for who you are right now. You are worthy of love. Happy Branding!
About the Author
Professional Title: Marketing & Branding Devotee
Bio: J. Rachel West is a passionate marketing & branding devotee. She is the Marketing Executive for Women Thrive Media as well as the Founder of her own agency, JRW Consulting LLC. Her passion is helping others, whether in their business or their life and when she isn’t at her desk you can find her traveling the world.
Website: JRW Consulting LLC
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